When it comes to cheese, dogs are far from being discriminating eaters. In fact, many dogs will happily devour any type of cheese they come across. However, not all cheeses are created equal, and some can actually be harmful to dogs.
Cheddar cheese is one such cheese. It is not toxic to dogs, but it can cause some digestive issues.
In this blog post, we will discuss the effects of cheddar cheese on dogs and what you can do to prevent any problems.
What Happens if Dog Eats Cheddar cheese
Cheddar is nutritious. It is a good source of calcium, protein, and fat.
While a small amount of cheddar cheese is unlikely to cause any serious problems, large amounts can lead to gastrointestinal distress, including vomiting and diarrhea.
In some cases, cheddar cheese can also cause an upset stomach or gas.
This is because cheddar cheese is high in fat and dogs have a hard time digesting fat. If your dog eats a lot of cheddar cheese, they may also have trouble digesting other foods.
Cheddar cheese is slightly better than parmesan, but is also high in sodium and dogs are sensitive to salt. Eating too much cheddar cheese can cause dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, and even seizures (1).
Some dogs can be VERY lactose intolerant as well. Lactose-intolerant dogs lack enzymes called lactase to break down lactose, the sugar found in milk and dairy products. Cheddar is not quite lactose-free, as opposed to what they claim on the label.
As a result, they can also experience bloating, gas, diarrhea, and vomiting.
The Amount and Cheddar Variety for Dogs
Mild/Medium, sharp, and extra sharp cheddar all have a similar content of nutrition but have more developed acid compounds in them thus affecting the taste, but they are all OK for dogs.
Also, cheddar cheese that has been aged for more than 12 months has less lactose than younger varieties (i.e., mild cheddar).
The amount of cheddar cheese that is safe for your dog to eat depends on their size, age, and general health.
A good rule of thumb is to give them no more than one ounce per 20 pounds of body weight per day.
For example, a small dog weighing ten pounds could have up to an ounce of cheddar cheese as a treat. If you have a large dog, they may be able to handle a slightly few more.
You should also avoid giving your dog cheddar cheese that has been flavored with onions or garlic, as these can be toxic to dogs.
Canned spray cheese is not recommended. The cheese block is better than pre-shredded cheddar as it usually contains non-dairy ingredients. Read how cheddar is made here in this article.
As always, consult with your veterinarian if you have any concerns about giving your dog cheddar cheese.
Cheddar Cheese can be a delicious treat for dogs, but it’s important to be aware of the potential risks involved.
So, while a small amount of it is not likely to harm your dog, it’s best to avoid giving them too much. If you do give them cheddar cheese, make sure it is in moderation, monitor their reaction, and keep an eye out for any adverse effects.
Have a question about cheddar cheese and dogs that we didn’t answer? Let us know in the comments below!